Frieze x Melbourne Design Week present Museums as Agents of Change

A digital discussion with Bea Leanza, Brendan Cormier and Ewan McEoin, Moderated by Beatrice Galilee, Founder and Executive Director, The World Around

Tuesday 23 March 2021


Frieze x Melbourne Design Week present: Museums as Agents of Change

In a time of crisis – social, health, climatic – how can design institutions effect real-world change? How can they best support game-changing projects and new ways of thinking? What roles do commissioning and collecting, respectively, have to play? And how might we reimagine collaboration across organizations to increase impact? 

A digital discussion between

Bea Leanza, Executive Director; MAAT, Lisbon

Brendan Cormier, Senior Curator Exhibitions and Special Projects; V&A, London

Ewan McEoin, Senior Curator of Contemporary Design and Architecture at the NGV

Moderated by Beatrice Galilee, Founder and Executive Director, The World Around

Introduced by Amy Sherlock, Deputy Editor, Frieze

This panel is part of Melbourne Design Week curated under the 2021 theme ‘Design The World You Want’.

Tuesday 23 March 2021

7PM GMT | 3PM EST | 12pm PST

Broadcast via Zoom


Beatrice Leanza is the executive director of the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (maat) in Lisbon. She is a curator and critic with a background in Asian studies and was based in Beijing for over 17 years where, among others, she acted as the creative director of Beijing Design Week (2013–16) and co-founded of The Global School, the first independent institute for design and creative research established in the People’s Republic of China.  

Brendan Cormier is Senior Curator of Exhibitions and Special Projects at the V&A, London, where he is currently leading on the museum’s ‘Pandemic Objects’ series. He has curated several major exhibitions for the museum, including ‘Cars: Accelerating the Modern World’ (2019–20), the V&A Gallery in Shenzhen and ‘A World of Fragile Parts’ for the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale. He has also produced several publications for the museum including Copy Culture: Sharing in the Age of Digital Reproduction (2018).  

Ewan McEoin is Senior Curator of Contemporary Design and Architecture at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. His curatorial projects include the NGV Triennial (2017 and 2020). He curates the annual NGV Architecture Commissions series and leads Melbourne Design Week, Australia’s leading international design programme. 

Amy Sherlock is deputy editor of frieze. She was the curator of the annual Frieze Art & Architecture Conference, which ran between 2016–2020. She is based in London. 

About Melbourne Design Week

Melbourne Design Week is democratic, free to participate within and ideas-driven. Inspired by the 2021 theme ‘design the world you want’, designers respond to this provocation through three pillars: Care, Community and Climate. Events under the Care thematic reflect the desire for design processes that consider the emotional needs of others, including other species; Community celebrates collaboration across disciplines, disseminating knowledge and embracing new cultures; and Climate examines the ways in which designers can mediate the effects of climate change, including the necessary shift to a zero-carbon future. An initiative of the Victorian Government, the program is curated by the Department of Contemporary Design and Architecture at the NGV.

More information on Frieze x Melbourne Design Week event:  Living in Planet City, a digital discussion with architect and film maker Liam Young here

Image credit: Refik Anadol, Quantum Memories, 2020. Installation view as part of NGV Triennial 2020. Courtesy: the artist and NGV